Your mother-in-law insists that she cook an entirely gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner on your behalf, but you know that she’s not 100% aware of how to safely cook for a person with celiac disease. What do you do?
“I would thank my mother-in-law for offering to cook an entirely gluten-free menu. Then I would ask her if she minded if we cook the dinner and host it at my house. That way we have all the safe kitchen equipment that is needed. I would take this opportunity with my mother-in-law to educate her on gluten-free cooking and also to strengthen our relationship. I would spend time with her planning the menu, shopping together (to ensure correct safe ingredients are chosen) and we would cook together.”
- Beyond Celiac Blogger Ambassador Cindy Gordon, Vegetarian Mamma
“Realizing that not only your mother-in-law, but most people who don't live with a person with celiac disease, are not familiar with how rigid food handling must be. The best thing to do is think ahead. Call her about a week or two before Thanksgiving and say that you've set aside some time to come over and help with the meal prep. If you feel she'll be offended, you can always include the reason of wanting to alleviate some of her workload. In any case, that way, you are performing all of the necessary steps required in safe handling and cooking of a gluten-free meal.”
- Beyond Celiac Blogger Ambassador Annette Pugliese, Best Life Gluten-Free
“Suggest to your mother-in-law that you come over early to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner together. This gives you the benefit of a) extra family bonding time together, b) an opportunity to teach her how to safely prepare a meal for someone with celiac disease, and c) the ability to be your own steward and take precautions to prevent cross-contact.”
- Beyond Celiac Athlete for Awareness Peter Bronski, No Gluten, No Problem
"If you have the time, volunteer to spend the day cooking the meal with her as a mother-daughter bonding experience. If this isn’t feasible, stress that you just want one or two of your favorite dishes gluten-free—the ones that are difficult to mess up!"
- Laura Hanley, G-Free Laura
"If your mother-in-law has offered to cook you an entirely gluten-free meal, consider yourself blessed! Because she has offered to do this, it’s likely she is open to learning from you about how to safely prepare gluten-free food, so take the time to educate her on the ins and outs of the gluten-free diet, as well as steps she can take to prevent cross-contact, both by talking about it, and by providing her with resources and a checklist. Of course she may also appreciate it if you offer to bring a side dish or two to share!"
- EA Stewart, The Spicy RD